Currently viewing the category: "Aphids, Scale Insects, Leafhoppers, and Tree Hoppers"
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I’ve just found your website and I maybe you can help me with the identification of this particular tree- or leafhopper (picture attached). This photo is to be included in the Encyclopedia, and the editor needs the species name . If you know it, please send a message ASAP – I would be MOST GRATEFUL!!!
Best regards,
Wawrzyniec Podrzucki
P.S. Thepicture was taken in Pennsylvania.

Hi there Wawrzyniec Podrzucki,
I’m guessing Thelia bimaculata, a female. Here is a website with images.Good luck on getting in that encyclopedia. Your photograph is beautiful.
Treehoppers belong to the Family Membracidae. They are called Treehoppers because most of the species live on trees and low bushes, hopping vigorously when disturbed. All of the species suck plant juices. Many of the young secrete honeydew like aphids.
Great thanks for answering so promptly. In the meantime I’ve also run the picture through yet another entomological site, and it seems that you are
correct. And you are wellcome to my website for a little more of good quality insect photos.
Thanks again,
Wawrzyniec Podrzucki

Update (01/06/2006)
Here is an excerpt from a letter by Julieta Brambila:
” I printed two images for Mark Rothschild, expert in Membracidae, and he gave me this information: Campylenchia latipes (SAy) is the identification for the message from 10/17/2003, from Wawrzyniec Podrzucki, of a membracid from Pennsylvannia. This image is filed in the section of What’s that bug: aphids, scale insects, leafhoppers, and tree hoppers.”

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Eggplant bugs?
I am hoping you can help me identify the spiny little critters that have taken up residence on my eggplants. Sorry the picture is not real clear, but it does show their yellow and brown stripes, and the spikes that cover them all over. I live in San Diego, California. How can I get rid of them without using some harmful chemical? Would insecticidal soap work?
Thanks for your Help,
Dawn Jurek

Dear Dawn,
Your eggplants have an infestation of Keelbacked Treehoppers, Antianthe expansa, in the nymph stage. The adults are green winged creatures that have sharply keeled backs and sharp spines on each side of the head. The nymphs are black and orange and spiny as indicated in your photo. The nymphs are very sensitive to approaching danger and migrate to the other side of the stem en masse away from the hands of the gardener or any other perceived danger. They feed on the sap of solanaceous plants including eggplant, tomatoes and peppers. Treehoppers, which belong to the insect order Homoptera, are related to aphids, cicadas, mealybugs, scale insects and leafhoppers. You can try picking them manually, but beware the sharp spines, or you can spray the plants with a mild solution of soapy water.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

have an infestation of bugs on my willow tree. They are dark gray with black spots and shaped kind of like a light bulb. The narrow part at the head. The back legs are longer than the front and they have little antennae. There are thousands clustered together. Can you tell me what they are and how to treat them?
Kim Kincaid
Aloha, OR

Hi Kim,
Sorry about the delay. I believe you have Giant Willow Aphids, Pterochlorus viminalis. This is a large species, reaching about 1/4 inch. It is gray with black spots, short black horns on the abdomen and a large tubercle in the middle of the abdomen. It feeds in large, compact colonies on the trunks and branches of willows often near the ground, and when disturbed has the habit of kicking the hind legs back and forth above the abdomen in a very energetic manner. This habit is common to all the individuals of a colony and is probably a means of warding off natural enemies according to Essig. Try your local nursery for a treatment. Here is a site with great information and photos.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

I need your help please. Where I live in California, my house in like in the middle of a field. With some trees around the house and for grass it’s all dried old weeds no green grass! We just started cleaning the yard (field) up and besides wolf spiders, and earwigs and ants etc. we’ve noticed a lot of these bugs that fly leap from the weeds and trees. I want to call them ticks but I haven’t found a tick picture that looks like these. They are brown and also bright neon green. The body is hard and the head is like a triangle. Please help me soooooooon if you can. Thanks.
Up to my knees in bugs.

Dear Knees,
You are being bothered by leaf hoppers Family Cicadellidae or spittle bugs Family cercopidae, both of which will feed off the sap of plants but will not harm people. Spittle Bugs leave frothy foam on plant stems that resembles spittle and serves as a shelter for the feeding nymphs.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Hi Bugman,
I read through your website and still am not able to find what this creature is!!! I spent last night surfing the web, trying to find out more information, but still no luck. You’re my last resort, Bugman! My husband and I came home to find 2 of these on our garage floor. It’s by far the largest bug I’ve ever seen! It measures about 1.5 inches long (see picture). I thought it was some sort of beetle or cockroach, but apparently not. My friend did more research and thought it was the (rare?) Stag Beetle. But it doesn’t match the description. We live in Massachusetts. I’m not sure how common this bug is, or if it’s even harmful at all. I know you’re busy right now, what with summer and all, but I’d appreciate any help you can give us! Great website, by the way!
Lynn
Freaked out in Massachusetts.

D
ear Freaked Out,
It is a Stag Beetle. I know there are reddish varieties, but I have only seen black ones. Perhaps the red beetles you found are a subspecies of Pseudoleucanus capreolus. The photos are beautiful. They are not harmful, though can deliver a mild pinch with those formidable jaws on the male beetle. The grubs eat rotting wood. One of the few items in our gift shop right now is a stag beetle t-shirt.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

More about the aphids:
Many of you read with disgust the following account about the aphids found in a sandwich purchased from Wild Oats on Sunday. On Monday, we called the offending store and spoke to the manager, who apologized for the infestation and promised to look into the matter. Sharon and I returned to the rocky waters and ordered a couple of new sandwiches, which we got sans lettuce. And we were happy to meet Bobby, the deli counter guy who is a self-described "lettuce nazi." I hope he’s also an "aphid nazi."

April 15, 2002

Uninvited Guest
I didn’t write "What’s That Bug?," because when I discovered this critter, "What’s That Bug?" was sitting right next to me.
For those of you who didn’t hear my piercing screams last night (which carried for miles), the picture above shows the extra protein which was included in a turkey sandwich which I’d purchased from Wild Oats in Pasadena last night. The hitchhiker was immediately identified as an aphid. Also included within the two whole wheat slices was a deader version of this critter, which is what prompted a more thorough investigation of the meal in the first place.
Buff Charlie, who eats both lunch and dinner daily at this fine natural grocery store, strode powerfully to the store and got to the bottom of the infestation. He chastised the staff, and forced them to remove all lettuce from the deli section. "It’s a good idea to always look at your food before eating it," a friendly employee advised him.
That’s good advice, especially when munching on produce. Here in the AH backyard, our lettuce is home to all manner of hungry beasts. Rhonda is always out smushing slugs and grasshoppers. But once our garden produce enters the home, we are no longer playing games with the pests. They are removed, completely. None are pardoned.
I can only wonder why Wild Oats doesn’t share this philosophy of cleanliness and death. Is this what "organic" means these days?

Thanks, Daniel, for grossing me out even more! Buggy anal sugar! EWWW! This unsolicitated letter was received this morning:

Dear American Homebody,
Though no official question has been posed, I thought it was my duty to inform you of some aphid facts since your very recent experience with tainted lettuce on a store bought, organic sandwich. No one knows better than Hogue, who writes "Aphids (Family Aphidae) Aphids are notorious pests of cultivated plants. Prolific breeders, they swiftly spread over the tender growing tips of prize roses and other plants, from which they withdraw large quantities of sap. The result is a wilted, curled, and unsightly mass of leaves or a dead plant. The aphid’s harm is increased by its habit of copiously excreting from the anus a sugary solution called ‘honeydew,’ which covers the host plant with a sticky unsightly residue that often becomes blackened with a growth of sooty mold. Aphids also transmit viral diseases to plants. … Aphids are remarkable for their peculiar modes of reproduction and development, which involve polymorphism (the capability of assuming different body forms). They display life cycles so complicated and varied that they are impossible to summarize here. Parthenogenesis (the development of unfertilized eggs), viviparity (the bearing of live young), and winged and wingless generations are common reproductive phenomena."
One can only guess that the designer store in question found it too costly to clean their organic lettuce in Evian, so they neglected to do so at all to keep the harmful tap water chemicals from their chemical free produce.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination